Image of the day

Captured by
Peter Bresler

Lagoon Nebula,M8, LRGB

My Account

New to Astromart?

Register an account...

Need Help?

Posts Made By: Barry Fernelius

August 25, 2003 01:20 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Is it possible to have.......

Posted By Barry Fernelius

The optics of my current observing kit are as follows:

12.5" f5 Mag1 Portaball with 0.99 Strehl Zambuto Mirror
35mm Tele Vue Panoptic
19mm Tele Vue Panoptic
13mm Tele Vue Nagler
9mm Tele Vue Nagler
3-6mm Tele Vue Nagler Zoom

I keep everything but the Portaball in the trunk of my car. I can be ready to go to a dark site to observe with less than 2 minutes notice. Everything that I have works superbly well. With this set of equipment, the only thing that I occasionally complain about is the weather! In short, this is a good quality telescope, and I am happy with it.

Anyone who saves up their money could probably afford a reasonably good quality instrument. Deciding to be happy after you have such riches is a personal choice. :-)

September 13, 2003 07:27 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Zambuto 10" mirror vs. Meade and Orion.

Posted By Barry Fernelius

I've observed using telescopes with 8" and 12.5" Zambuto mirrors on a regular basis. I found that there was an appreciable difference between my Zambuto mirrors and what's regularly available from Orion and Meade.

I can't judge whether this difference is important to you. I'd suggest that you attend a few star parties and find out for yourself.

October 1, 2003 07:43 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

13mm Nagler type 6

Posted By Barry Fernelius

Over the past few months, the 13mm Type 6 Nagler has been one of my favorite eyepieces. It seems to be a perfect match for my 12.5" f5 Portaball.

I also have a 9mm Type 6 Nagler. It's a great eyepiece, but I like the 13mm Type 6 Nagler even more. Eye placement is a bit less critical on the 13mm, and I find it easier to see that entire 82 degree field. (I remove my glasses when I'm at the eyepiece.)

October 7, 2003 02:58 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

What kind of material is used for solar filters?

Posted By Barry Fernelius

The proper material is Baader AstroSolar Solar Filter Material, and it's available from the good Astro-Physics folks. Fortunately, you won't have to wait as long for this item as you would have to wait for an Astro-Physics APO!

October 9, 2003 09:15 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

How do YOU say APO?

Posted By Barry Fernelius

'Why' is more interesting than 'How' :-)

October 13, 2003 02:55 PM Forum: Telescope Making

"Pulled Parabola"

Posted By Barry Fernelius

As I recall, this technique becomes sort of impractical if the mirror is sufficiently large...

November 6, 2003 08:05 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

New Nagler design VS older hand grenade design

Posted By Barry Fernelius

I'll offer a dissenting view, at least for the smaller focal lengths. I've found that the 13mm T6 Nagler provides better views than the older Nagler T1 that it replaces. Similarly, the old 17mm Nagler is a fine eyepiece, but the newer 16mm Nagler is at least its equal, and in a much smaller package.

November 16, 2003 09:06 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Any Observers Had Laser Eye Surgery?

Posted By Barry Fernelius


Like you, I considered Lasik, but I decided against it because one of the most common side effects of the surgery is a problem with night vision, particularly if one has large pupils like mine. To quote a portion of a recent article:
People with large pupils - about half of those who undergo the procedure - are most likely to encounter the night vision problems, Boxer Wachler says. At night, the pupils naturally become larger and expand beyond the area of the cornea that was reshaped by the laser, he says.

In essence, it's as if the patients are looking through two pairs of glasses at the same time - one that provides excellent vision and one that does not. You get a blur superimposed on top of the clear [view], and that's what the halo is, Boxer Wachler explains.
I compared my night vision with a younger observer who'd had the Lasik procedure. I could see dimmer objects than he could, and I'm 47!

After that, I decided I could live with my glasses. (I've worn 'em since before kindergarten.)

Of course, as always, YMMV.

November 20, 2003 07:32 AM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

Which nebulae show most detail in small scopes?

Posted By Barry Fernelius

Since it wasn't mentioned, I'd have to add M17, the Swan (horseshoe, omega, checkmark, whatever) Nebula in Sagittarius. And, IMHO the views of M17 through a medium-sized telescope (12.5" f5) are better than the astrophotos of this object.

November 23, 2003 06:46 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Interesting side by side

Posted By Barry Fernelius


I have a 12.5" Portaball. I know what you mean when you say that the Portaball can produce great images without even seeming to work hard. My friend Ken says that he likes the Portaball because it 'gets out of the way.' That is, when you're looking through the Portaball on a great night, this easy-to-use telescope feels like it isn't even there; instead you're cruising through space with an almost magical ability to see astronomical wonders...